Original Paper

Biological Invasions

, Volume 12, Issue 5, pp 1133-1144

First online:

Acceptance and suitability of novel trees for Orthotomicus erosus, an exotic bark beetle in North America

  • A. J. WalterAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, University of Minnesota
  • , R. C. VenetteAffiliated withUSDA Forest Service Email author 
  • , S. A. KellsAffiliated withDepartment of Entomology, University of Minnesota

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To predict whether an herbivorous pest insect will establish in a new area, the potential host plants must be known. For invading bark beetles, adults must recognize and accept trees suitable for larval development. The preference-performance hypothesis predicts that adults will select host species that maximize the fitness of their offspring. We tested five species of North American conifers and one angiosperm for adult acceptance and suitability for reproduction of the Mediterranean pine engraver, Orthotomicus erosus (Wollaston). Red pine, Pinus resinosa Aiton, and white spruce, Picea glauca (Moench) Voss, were accepted by adult beetles and suitable for reproduction to the extent of adult replacement. Others, such as balsam fir, Abies balsamea (L.) Mill., eastern hemlock, Tsuga canagensis (L.) Carrière, and tamarack, Larix laricina (Du Roi) Koch, were acceptable but unsuitable. The presence of tree species that are acceptable to adults but unsuitable for reproduction may affect the ability of O. erosus to establish across North America.


Mediterranean pine engraver Invasion biology Establishment Host range expansion Novel host association Pinaceae